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Aarattu, or the Holy Bath, is a ritual usually performed on the closing day of temple festivals in Kerala. This is symbolic of purification and rejuvenation of the body and spirit after the festivities.

On the occasion of Aarattu, the deity, tired after the Pallivetta (Holy Hunt) on the previous day, is taken out of the temple in a grand procession to a nearby river or temple pond. After being dipped in the water and ritual worship performed, the idol is escorted back to the temple where it is decorated and worshipped. The accompaniment to Aarattu often includes a grand elephant pageant and rich music.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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